Friday, September 29, 2006

Stand With Us Against The War

As the Iraq War/Invasion drags on, and the United States Senate and Congress vote for institutionalized torture... of the few places that feels sane anymore is the weekly peace vigil... front of the Federal Building on Golden Gate Avenue in San Francisco.

The loosely affiliated religious groups and peaceniks who attend regularly and irregularly every Thursday from noon to one have been silently standing for justice and truth to power for almost five straight years now.

They are holding a "5th Anniversary" commemoration two weeks from now on Thursday, October 12, at their usual noon to one in the afternoon... I joined Markley Morris, the organizer of the vigil, on a stroll through City Hall inviting the 11 City Supervisors and their staffs to the anniversary event.

Aaron Peskin's receptionist was lovely and friendly when we handed her the invitation and promised to pass it on to the supervisor, but she most definitely didn't want her picture taken.

The staff of the new political operator in Sacramento, Fiona Ma...

...didn't look particularly amused by our presence but was perfectly polite.

It was at District 11 Supervisor Sandoval's office that we received a royal reception.

While prowling around City Hall for this blog during the last year, I've met a lot of the volunteers and paid staff for the various politicians, and with the possible exception of Boris in Supervisor Mirkarimi's office, the smartest, most charming, and most helpful person there is Lupita Figueiredo, seen below to the right in a truly terrible photograph. (Please forgive me, Lupita, you look much better than represented.)

She gave Markley simple, accurate information about distribution to media outlets for his anniversary, and when she found out that he was a District 11 resident, proceeded to invite him to a special districtwide party for the "Chicanos" exhibit at the deYoung.

In contrast, at Supervisor Ammiano's large northwest corner office, his two aides were busy on the phone and didn't even acknowledge us, and neither did the Supervisor himself as he came out to the front desk to find some paperwork.

Note to Ammiano: I like your politics, but your people skills suck.

Though the staffs of reliably reactionary Supervisors Dufty, Alioto-Pier and Elsbernd were not particularly welcoming... least they went through the motions and were polite.

At Supervisor Daly's office, we were greeted by a volunteer...

...who seemed to find everything hilarious.

Supervisor Maxwell's office was guarded by a receptionist...

...who couldn't have been more pleasant and who promised to make sure her boss get the invitation.

At Supervisor Mirkarimi's office, we ran into another lovely volunteer who was enthusiastic and helpful, and who said she would probably be showing up herself.

So, to everybody who reads this blog, you are also officially invited to this event, Thursday, October 12, noon to one pm. There will no stupid speeches or screaming or nonsense, simply people who are witnesses to institutional war and the evil it represents, and who are trying to change the world. Join us.


cookiecrumb said...

OK. I've been called to duty. Thanks, Michael. Your pictures are great

janinsanfran said...

As of now I know no reason that I can't make it. Hope to meet you there!

The tour of the supes' offices was delightful. And much in accord with my experiences. :-)

sfmike said...

Dear cookiecrumb and jan: It looks like I'm going to be in Palm Springs on the 12th so we won't be able to join up at the peace vigil. But do try to make it on your own. There's a core group of really decent people who have been carrying on this vigil every week (except Federal holidays) for five straight years, and showing up to join them on their anniversary would mean a lot.